Learning Lincoln On-line


signTopic:  "Travel the Lincoln Heritage Trail"

President Lincoln is Assassinated



Abraham Lincoln Story: The President-Elect and Family Moves from a log cabin in Near Present-day Hodgenville, Kentucky to the bustling Washington D.C.

         Abraham Lincoln and family would have the experience of living in Washington D.C.  two different times.  The first time was in 1847, when Abraham was elected from Illinois to serve in the House of Representatives.  He was a very active political figure and did much writing, debating and speaking.  He actually traveled around the country giving speeches for various topics and in support of fellow party members and platforms.  As we know, he would end up in a different position at Washington.

Photo of log cabin

                                           President Lincoln was born in near Hodgenville, Ky.
       Young Abraham was born in the wilderness and raised in with the sweat of his brow, and the upbringing creating a very strong individual, as was needed during the Civil War, when he was President

The Lincolns live in Springfield.The only home they would ever purchase

       Life there would be much simpler and common, than life in the bustling Washington D.C., their final home. Abraham could be seen walking to and from his law office downtown, and often would walking with his rowdy boys. This is where one son would die, and be buried.  Mary had house-keepers (servants), but had a difficult time holding them.


The House Chambers of the late 1840's as the future President would learn national politics, and gain a popular reputation nation-wide.


The U.S. capitol building in the late 1840's, wooden domes and all. The present stone and glass domes were erected when Abraham would return to Washington in 1861 and throughout the Civil War

The White House was not nearly as grand as it is in the 21st Century.  Washington D.C. in 1861, had dirt streets, and unclean water supplies.    There was no privacy, and very little security.  The President would greet all people equally from his East Room Office.  The family lived upstairs.  The boys had a good time playing in the White House, and could ride their horses on the South Lawn.  They had the free-run of the building.


Ford Theater, Washington D.C.

Here's the Story of the Assassination

Assassination and funeral

From Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln


Shown in the presidential booth of Ford's Theatre, from left to right, are assassin John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Clara Harris, and Henry Rathbone

      Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford's Theatre as the American Civil War was drawing to a close. The assassination occurred five days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Booth was a well-known actor and a Confederate spy from Maryland; though he never joined the Confederate army, he had contacts with the Confederate secret service. In 1864, Booth formulated a plan (very similar to one of Thomas N. Conrad previously authorized by the Confederacy) to kidnap Lincoln in exchange for the release of Confederate prisoners. After attending an April 11, 1865, speech in which Lincoln promoted voting rights for blacks, an incensed Booth changed his plans and became determined to assassinate the president. Learning that the President and Grant would be attending Ford's Theatre, Booth formulated a plan with co-conspirators to assassinate Lincoln and Grant at the theater, as well as Vice President Johnson and Secretary of State Seward at their homes. Without his main bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln left to attend the play Our American Cousin on April 14. At the last minute, Grant decided to go to New Jersey to visit his children instead of attending the play.

      Lincoln's bodyguard, John Parker, left Ford's Theater during intermission to drink at the saloon next door. The now unguarded President sat in his state box in the balcony. Seizing the opportunity, Booth crept up from behind and at about 10:13 pm, aimed at the back of Lincoln's head and fired at point-blank range, mortally wounding the President. Major Henry Rathbone momentarily grappled with Booth, but Booth stabbed him and escaped.

      After being on the run for 12 days, Booth was tracked down and found on a farm in Virginia, some 70 miles south of Washington. After refusing to surrender to Union troops, Booth was killed by Sergeant Boston Corbett on April 26.

      Doctor Charles Leale, an Army surgeon, found the President unresponsive, barely breathing and with no detectable pulse. Having determined that the President had been shot in the head, and not stabbed in the shoulder as originally thought, he made an attempt to clear the blood clot, after which the President began to breathe more naturally. The dying President was taken across the street to Petersen House. After remaining in a coma for nine hours, Lincoln died at 7:22 am on April 15. According to eyewitnesses, his face was fixed in a smile when he expired. Secretary of War Stanton saluted and said, "Now he belongs to the ages."

Lincoln's flag-enfolded body was then escorted in the rain to the White House by bareheaded Union officers, while the city's church bells rang.